By Josh Ferrell, Associate Producer
I was told while filming abroad, always be on your toes. The No Reservations crew is considerably small, but we make up for it with all of our equipment: cameras, rigs, lights, etc. Needless to say, all this gear adds up to a pretty penny. Actually, not just pretty, but a beautiful, gorgeous penny. With this kind of merchandise, we all do our part to make sure none of our expensive equipment grows legs and magically walks away. We do little things to help prevent this: always double check to make sure we lock the production van doors, we make sure someone stands watch over any gear we might pile up on a sidewalk. But unfortunately, all of these precautionary measures don’t stand a chance with the sneakiest thieves of the world.
We had just finished filming a scene at a pizzeria, near the train station in Naples. This was quite the busy part of town too, and it being lunchtime, the sidewalks were crowded with all walks of life. And the street was jammed packed full of cars, trucks, and buses- with scooters and motorcycles weaving in and out of the spaces between the vehicles trying to make the light. Somewhere in the confusion of all this, one of our cameras, a Sony EX-1… disappeared. My best guess, some one spotted us with all this equipment, and drove up on a motorcycle and snatched the camera while we were loading other equipment into our production van- and then zoomed off.
But the important thing is that no one got hurt. So the next step was to file a police report. We had a back up camera, so there was no need to stop production for this minor speed bump- so the rest of the crew went on to the next location to film. Our local Production Assistant, Mario, and I took a taxi to the nearest police station where we waited to talk to a detective.
Mario was my translator for my conversation with the detective. We went into his office, which was very bare. Nothing on the walls and the only thing on his desk was a computer circa 1994. We sat down and I started telling Mario what happened, to translate into Italian for the detective. After Mario told him the long, drawn our story, the detective looked at Mario and then looked at me. He spoke a few short words in Italian to Mario- and Mario looked at me and said, “What do you want him to do about it?” I then explained that I needed a police report to give to our insurance company. Don’t get me wrong, the officer was extremely helpful, but I’m pretty sure it was his first police report he had ever filed, because I was dictating to him what should go into the report.
Once the detective finished the report, he printed me a copy. I asked if he could also email it to me so I could send it back to our production company in New York City. He asked Mario to inform me that the police station didn’t have Internet access. So then I asked if I could use their fax machine, but it turned out the station didn’t have a fax machine either. The detective must have seen the look of disappointment on my face, so he offered Mario and I cups of espresso. He came back with the little cups, with sugar already added, and set them down on the desk. He sat back down in his seat with a smug look on his face and waited for us to try the coffee. It seemed he was very proud of the drink he had just made us and was waiting to see our reaction to the espresso. I tried it and realized why the police station didn’t have Internet access or fax machine, or any other basic office equipment for that matter. They must have spent their whole budget on an espresso machine, because that was the best damn cup of coffee I’ve had in my life.